February 1, 2002

Petulant children

A Google search led me to the download page for a popular internet utility today, and I was astonished by the quantity of whining, contemptuous, and bitter user comments. In illiterate, misspelled prose, these people were denouncing the vendor for overpicing, feature bloat, and a host of other sins. (The product, a sophisticated utility, costs $45; some of the users were insulted that it wasn't free)

I clicked around to CNET, VersionTracker, and a few other places. It's endemic: good software gets horrible ratings, usually expressed as unsubstantiated opinion from persons whose qualifications are unclear and whose prose is worse.

I find this disturbing in its implications for collaborative sites, as well as for the revival of the moribund software industry.